My initial thoughts about the project When we first started working on this project I knew that everyone in my group was just as determined as I was to successfully build a stable treehouse that students can use to relax, do homework, or just hang out with friends in. When we first started looking for trees to build it in, there were not very stable, large enough trees that we could use that were on campus, so I started thinking that we had to choose a different thing to build. All the other students in my group still had their heart set on our idea of making a treehouse to have a quiet and peaceful space, so we ended up getting permission to build it behind the west amphitheater.
Takeaways from the field trip When we went on the Twin Buttes field trip, we toured a house that was being built and learned about materials that were and were not sustainable for the Earth and how to use our resources that we already have. I remember Todd Swanson, the construction worker that gave us the tour, told us about how the “bricks” he used for the walls of house was made out of recycled wood and other used materials and they absorb sunlight all summer long and leaves it to be warmer in the winter because it stores the heat inside and lowers energy use for heating in the house. Overall, what I learned from the field trip is the best way to design something is to do it in the environment it is in, and use more sustainable materials. My definition of sustainable design I think that sustainable design is when something is designed in a way that it isn’t harmful to the Earth and it is more effective, long lasting, and visually appealing to people. I think it is using materials that we already have, and make it into new instead of wasting it and creating more pollution. Sustainability means that everything in the design has a purpose and it doesn’t make a harmful impact to the planet.
How interviews helped me meet students values in our design The interviews and observations were very helpful because it showed me what students wanted and what they valued. The results I collected from students is that they value being with their friends, the outdoors, and a shaded and new place to spend time in. I think the tree house was a perfect idea because it is peaceful, quiet, and can fit about 6 people on top and Shade underneath with chairs.
How I took advantage of our freedom when having ideasI took advantage of our freedom of having ideas to arrive to our prototype idea by coming up with as many ideas as I was able to, weather we were able to construct it or not, and they all included the needs and values, but they were not all possibilities that we could complete in 2 weeks, so we came up with the idea of a treehouse because we knew we had the materials to build it already at school.
Everything I accomplished in physical construction During the construction of the treehouse, I accomplished learning how to better work with others, manage my time, and learned leadership skills from expressing and sharing out my ideas. I helped my group members put the treehouse together, I raked out all the dead grass in the area, I made a path out of sticks, then I went and helped a different group paint their project, and I helped another group by bringing rocks to where their building sight was. Overall, I learned how to be a better worker and a more helpful person.
Reflection: 21st Century Skill that I grew in the most I think I grew the most with thinking critically because there were many ideas that were thrown out, but I learned that not all of our ideas would be possible to do with the materials that we had access to. I used critical thinking to figure out what was realistic or not to be able to construct what we were capable to do ourselves.
Habit of Heart and Mind that I need to grow in To be the best project based learner I could be, I need to work on advocacy because if I need help with something, I don’t tend to ask for help. I need to learn how to advocate for myself because in future events, if I need help with anything then I will know how to ask and be more successful with my work.
A problem I solved when things got difficult At the beginning of the project, things were difficult to get started because we had not yet found a tree to build it in that was technically on campus, but then we talked with Sean, and he allowed us to build it behind the west amphitheater. Things also got difficult when we all were having different ideas and we weren’t able to agree with just one, so that is when I went and helped other projects with their work.
A problem that I was not able to solve Having limited time was a problem that we were unable to solve because our original plan was to make four tree houses and have bridges from one to another, but we ended up only having time to build one tree house. When we first started building we got most of it completed in the first day, however, cutting wood pieces and building the rails and walls was much more time consuming because there was limited space in the Makers Space, and so there were not very many other jobs to do, so my group members went to help other groups as well.
What I thought success looked like in the beginning to now In the beginning of the project, I think our success was pretty high because my groups motivation to build a structure that all students would appreciate to have at school was very strong, because our idea was very different from everyone else’s. Now I think success in our project looks like a stable, creative, treehouse that anyone can hang out in. I think that I also succeeded in having more motivation, better time management, and learning how to work better with other people.
Advice for future students to start this project. If I had any advice to give to a student that was about to begin this project, it would be that your ideas can be endless, but not everything you think of can be made, but you can change and refine them to make them to be more realistic and within our capabilities of building.